I am a teacher once again.
I accepted an elementary position at a charter school in June. It was a difficult decision. My mindset this summer is a polar opposite from last summer. I'm nervous about teaching a different grade level, about having one group of kids all.day.long, about surviving in another charter school, about maintaining patience and a personal life.
I think that being a little anxious will help me a bit. Don't they say that pride goeth before a fall? Last summer when I got that other job I was thrilled and thought it would be fantastic. Ha ha. Well, I fell damn near every week, some weeks every stupid day.
You'd think I would learn, eh?
At Original Middle School, I learned how to be a teacher. I learned that pre-teens can easily run a teacher's pride and/or dignity into the ground in about five minutes. I learned that pre-teens still love stickers and silly songs. I learned how to speak firmly and loudly without being mean. I learned how to entertain myself and my students with my lame dry jokes. I learned that I can't stand disruptions in my classroom--which includes mistakes by inept administrators. I learned that I could mold my classroom and make it a pretty great place to be. I learned that I like to learn and try new things and come up with new ideas. I also learned that I have a tendency to take on more than I can chew and have trouble following through with all my awesome ideas. I learned that kids sometimes actually like me. I learned that I will always have an insane parent. I learned that I can be successful and have fun in the classroom.
At First Charter School, I learned how to be humble again. I learned that it's really fucking hard to teach a brand-new subject. I learned how very important it is to have a place to send disobedient students (because I didn't have one). I learned that my awesome management was no good at a new school. I learned that I flounder easily without enough knowledge or support. I learned again that administration makes or breaks a school. I learned that I can't always be successful in the classroom. Part of me felt like I would never be and had never been successful in the classroom.
At Subbing Charter School, I learned that environment matters. I learned again that if there are no consequences, the students will run wild. I learned that I don't like hearing yelling at a school--from students, from teachers, from my own self. I learned that it's not worth it and I don't have to take that kind of crap.
Today was my first day working with New Charter School. I met a few people and took some notes about what I want to do. I didn't learn anything new about teaching or learning or being a charter school. But it was a good reminder of the important things--finding ways to reach the kids and teach them stuff.
I've learned that nothing is a sure thing. I think I can do this.